As the NFL embarks on a mission to upgrade networking and communications infrastructure at stadia across the league, it has announced that Cisco will provide its expertise to help deliver an enhanced technology platform.
The multi-year partnership will see Cisco jointly develop a Connected League platform with the NFL, unifying the league on a singular foundation of connectivity with greater speed, intelligence, and security.
“We are excited to have Cisco as an official partner of the NFL. We have relied on Cisco for many years now and it is a natural fit that they now have become our partner,” said Michelle McKenna, NFL Chief Information Officer. “In an increasingly digital world, speed, reliability and security are paramount to our success and we welcome the leadership Cisco will bring to the NFL for these key aspects and more.”
“The NFL shares our view that a connected world offers incredible opportunity, and we are excited to become an Official Technology Partner of the league,” said Chuck Robbins, Chairman and CEO at Cisco. “When Cisco started its journey in sports and entertainment years ago, we knew the right technology would reshape the fan experience, and with this partnership, we are continuing our progress toward creating a more dynamic future.”
In 2008, Cisco introduced the idea of a single converged network supporting the future of connectivity for a venue. Fast forward to today and Cisco’s view remains the same regarding a single unified, intent-based networking architecture, but instead of being building-centric, it is focused on developing a league-wide infrastructure to support gameday operations such as security and digital signage solutions.
Currently, every NFL stadium’s replay control room is built on Cisco technology and connected back to the Art McNally Gameday Central in New York City via a Cisco network. In addition, nearly all of the league’s Official Partners and two-thirds of NFL stadiums rely on Cisco technology, including SoFi Stadium and State Farm Stadium, sites of the next two Super Bowls.
“We have deep experience in this field creating innovative solutions that have enabled the sports industry to deliver superior fan experiences, streamline business operations, and drive incremental revenue,” said Brian Eaton, Director of Global Sponsorship, Cisco. “We look forward to working with the NFL to implement a platform that will bring significant value to the entire league ecosystem.”
In addition, Cisco and the NFL believe that technology will help build an inclusive future and bridge the digital divide. Cisco will contribute to the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative by collaborating with the league to deliver technology education and career advancement opportunities to people in underserved communities. Cisco’s belief is that connecting everyone not only creates more equality, but also meaningful and positive impact.